Digital Painting: Character Portraits for Aragon Online

I’ve been digitally painting character portraits for the web fantasy rpg/wargame Aragon Online. I’ve turned into a huge perfectionist about these images and have been getting very excited about learning technique.

Unfortunately these are intended to end up as at 80×80 pixels, so I’m quite overdoing my job.

richard_big hildebadt_big pitlag_big

Some thoughts:

  • From my compositions, I can see that I’m clearly quite taken with the use of rich colors with strong black lines and shadows.
  • Rendering of colored light adds something quite expressive and lovely, I think.  (Can I be the Thomas Kinkade of overblown fantasy painting? For all I loathe his artistic practice, he does indeed employ admirable technique.)
  • I saw this page (by Daniel Olafson) on the dramatic effect of painting clouds with a sharp brush and was inspired to take up his approach; I’ve very pleased with the results.
  • I’m trying to experiment with the rendering of different materials. Flat metal/plastic is easy and largely textureless, but I’ve pushed myself a bit with the clouds, the leaves, fur and hair, cloth, and a little with some of the leather. Much more development is needed here. And I seem to really like drawing segmented armor.
  • No smiling is allowed. (Or, note to self: I want to try showing a greater range of expression than “grim determination”, appropriate as it may be for a pack of fantasy warriors.)

(Edit: I’ve also made a post on my gamedev journal showing the progression of painting these images with some discussion of what went into each step.)

I can’t wait to do more. And I admit, I wish I could get paid lots of money to do this all the time, but ideas for future creative projects shall be the subject of another post.

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